Go to navigation Go to content
Toll-Free: 888-716-5283
Phone: (972) 566-7474
Dallas Podiatry Works

How to Tell if You Have a Bunion

This foot condition gets its fair share of publicity due to its frequency among female celebrities.  Often blamed on the sky-high heels that women wear, this deformity is actually a misalignment of the bones typically due to poor foot structure.  The protrusion can make wearing your favorite shoes an uncomfortable venture, and if the large toe crowds the others, loss of mobility and hammertoe can occur.

Other factors that can lead to this enlargement include injury and arthritis.  In both instances, the way that you walk can be affected.  This change in the distribution of weight across the feet increases the likelihood of this foot problem.

Shoes don’t cause this deformity, but wearing footwear that places additional pressure on the forefoot and toes can aggravate and hasten its development.  A wide toe box and custom orthotics are often recommended for conservative treatment.

Not Just a Bump: Joints, Soft Tissue, and Skin Too

The most visible sign is the bump, but the foot is complex and so is this deformity.  The joint and tissue around the area can be swollen and painful.  You may also notice reddening of the skin.  Bursitis, the inflammation of the cushions (bursae) that are located around the joints, can also be associated. 

Arthritis will compound your symptoms.  Joint deterioration is impacted by this condition and pain can be severe.  A reduction in the range of motion of the affected toe is likely. 

Is the pain getting on your nerves?

Bunions can Cause Other Foot Pain

As you might imagine, a bony enlargement next to the big toe can cause problems beyond the fit of your shoe.  The feet are full of nerve endings, and their irritation can result in loss of feeling or a tingly sensation. 

Even the skin shows signs of trouble when a bunion is present.  Friction between the toes causes calluses (thickened areas of skin) and corns.  This build-up can also develop at the bottom of the toe. 

 

Bunions:  Prevention to Avoid a Permanent Fixture

Once you have this condition, it can only be reversed with surgery.  While conservative measures can reduce pain and may slow its progression, surgical intervention is the only way to remove a bunion.  The best way to avoid the pain of this deformity is to prevent its occurrence. 

Shoes are the best defense for your feet.  Choose styles with enough room for your toes.  If your footwear presses into any part of your foot, problems can arise. Measure your feet regularly to ensure that you are selecting the proper size.  Forcing your foot into a shoe will only lead to pain. 

Have your feet evaluated by Drs. Brook and Northcutt today to learn more about your unique biomechanics.  Uneven stress can be resolved with custom orthotics, and understanding your arch type can help you find the right type of shoe when you shop.  Make an appointment online or by calling Dallas Podiatry Works in Plano at (972) 943-3323 or in Dallas at (972) 566-7474.


Dr. Joel W. Brook
Dr. Joel Brook is a board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at Dallas Podiatry Works in TX.